Hatchlings… What do I do?
Sometimes on the beach you will see an adorable newborn turtle, or hatchling, like this little one! What should you do? Leave them alone!
Do not approach a hatchling and do NOT touch them–you should never shine a light at them or near them. You may injure or disorient them.
Some hatchlings will struggle to get into the water. It’s okay, it’s nature. Still, hands off.
Remember to keep the beaches clean, dark, and flat. This hatchling getting caught in a plastic bag was completely preventable.
If you are uncertain or see an injured turtle, then it’s time to call the STPS hotline (321) 206-0646! When in doubt, ask us.
STPS has two drop boxes where you can place a hatchling that needs to be brought in. However, you should not bring in multiple hatchlings or an entire nest. These hatchlings need to try to make it on their own. If the hatchling is disoriented (such as in a road or parking lot), injured, stranded, please call the STPS hotline number and drop them in one of our boxes (at Lori Wilson Park and the Turtle House — 111 South Miramar Ave in Indialantic, FL). They may also be brought into the Turtle House Monday through Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm.
Permitted volunteer releasing a hatchling.
Learn more at FWC’s website.